PROBLEM: A loophole in federal law enables dangerous individuals to avoid background checks by purchasing firearms from private sellers at gun shows and on internet gun sites that are not required to perform background checks on buyers. In addition, due to lax enforcement in some states, millions of records of mentally ill and violent offenders are currently missing from the national gun background check system.
(In April 2013, 45 U.S. Senators caved in to the gun lobby and voted against expanding background checks, voting against the wishes of their constituents, against public safety, and against law and order.)
SOLUTION: Enact federal background checks on commercial gun sales and stronger enforcement requirements. NYAGV and other gun safety groups continue to fight in Congress to enact comprehensive criminal background checks and other gun safety measures that would prevent dangerous individuals from gaining easy access to firearms. H.R. 1217, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill introduced in March 2015, is the House’s version of the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment and would expand background checks to close loopholes. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) and is con-sponsored by Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Robert Dold (R-IL), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Pat Meehan (R-PA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT).
- U.S. House of Representatives–Send a message to your member of Congress asking them to strongly support H.R.1217 by becoming a co-sponsor.
- U.S. Senate–Contact Senators and tell them that you demand they support universal background checks. Click here to get contact information for your Senators.